Four Chemical Exposures That Cause Prostate Cancer

One in eight men in South Africa risk getting cancer in their lifetime, according to The Cancer Association of South Africa. And, at the top of the list of cancers that affect men is prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer occurs when cancer starts to grow in a gland in the male reproductive system called the prostate. While doctors aren’t completely sure what causes prostate cancer, researchers and medical experts have identified numerous risk factors for the disease. Among these risk factors are obesity, age, family history and ethnicity. And now, new research is now uncovering environmental exposures associated with prostate cancer risk. Lets look at four of them…

Four chemical exposures that cause prostate cancer

1. Pesticides

Farmers who use pesticides on their crops are at a far higher risk of getting prostate cancer. But not just farmers. If you’re buying these crops, you’re also at risk. So, to limit your exposure of pesticides, buy organic produce or fruits and vegetables that have the lowest pesticide residues as far as possible. You’ll also need to avoid using pesticides in your garden at home.

2. Cadmium

People who smoke are exposed to two times more cadmium, a chemical element found in tobacco, than those who don’t smoke. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent study has linked cadmium to increased risk of prostate cancer. And, laboratory studies have found that cadmium produces prostatic lesions in animals. Therefore, if you can quit smoking, you’ll be able to lower your risk – not only of prostate cancer, but of respiratory disease, lung cancer and heart disease, too.

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3. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

PCBs were at sometime used in commercial and industrial applications and, were associated with a number of health hazards, including prostate cancer and mortality. Even though PCBs were banned many years ago, they typically build up in animal fatty tissues, especially in fish. Therefore, to reduce your exposure you should opt for leaner meats and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

4. Bisphenol A (BPA)

Animal studies show that BPA affects the prostates of rats and can cause serious DNA damage and development of precancerous lesions. In fact, one study that looked at human prostate cell lines also found that BPA can cause DNA damage. Therefore, use glass kitchenware rather than plastic and opt for fresh food rather than canned foods. If you want to use plastic kitchenware, ensure they are BPA-free and completely avoid those with recycling code #7, which commonly contain BPA.

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